Activity 3: Create festival decorations
In this activity, students will:
- make Milky Way decorations for the Star Festival and carps for Japan's Children's Day
- examine how Japanese festival decorations illustrate the Milky Way.
Key inquiry question: What are some of the decorations used during these festivals and how do we make them?
Milky Way decorations
- Give out a square piece of paper and ask students to draw a picture about the story of the Weaver Princess and the cowherd.
- Provide the instructions and demonstrate the folding steps as follows:
Step 1. Fold a square piece of paper approximately 12 cm x 12 cm diagonally in half so that it looks like a triangle.
Step 2. Fold the triangle in half again so that the paper is folded into four triangles.
Step 3. Fold smaller triangles in half again so the paper is now folded into eight triangles.
Step 4. Make cuts along the edges with folds, stopping 1 centimetre from the opposite edge.
Step 5. Open the paper back into the original square. Pull down from the centre so that it puffs up. Pull the four corners together and tie with a string on top.
Step 6. Display the decorations on a large piece of bamboo or a branch of a tree.
Step 7. Ask your students to talk about their drawings and what they might wish for.
- Explain that they will be making the carp streamers next. You may wish to create a class stream of carps and students can choose a particular colour for their carp.
- Each student is given a length of stick, a piece of string, felt-tip pens and pieces of A4 paper.
- Provide the instructions and show your students the folding steps as follows:
Step 1. Make 2 folds lengthways in an A4 sheet of paper. The first fold is one-eighth of the width of the paper, while the second fold is across half the width of the paper.
Step 2. Pull the two long edges towards each other to make a tube. Glue the one-eight fold to the opposite long edge. You now have a tube that will be the body of the carp.
Step 3. Flatten one end of the tube and cut an inwards 'V' shape so that the end resembles a tail of a carp.
Step 4. Attach and centre the 15cm strip along one long edge of the tube to resemble a fin on the top of the carp's body. Attach the other two shorter strips on the under side of the long edge spaced 10 centimetres apart to resemble the bottom fins of a carp.
Step 5. Decorate the carp by painting it with scales and eyes. Attach the string on the end opposite the 'V' cut fins.
Step 6. To make the second carp, cut a quarter off the top of the second piece of A4 paper and follow the same procedure.
Step 7. To make the next, smaller, carp, cut more off the top of the next piece of paper and follow the same procedure.
Step 8. Use the paper left over from creating the carp to make streamers to decorate the top of the stick.
Step 9. Attach the carps to the stick, making sure that the largest is at the top and the smallest is last.
Step 10. Once the carps are made you can hang them outside the classroom from a tree in the school yard. This could be expanded to become a whole-school activity.